Curriculum Incorporates Collaborative Learning Strategies.
Toronto Youth Development has incorporated research-proven learning strategies recommended by the Ontario Ministry of Education in executing their academic curriculum.
The implementation of the new curriculum allocates three hours each day combining Math and Language Arts. The aim is for students to strengthen their skills and lessons they have learned in the previous year, while also preparing them for the following grade, giving students a chance to be ahead of their peers in September.
The curriculum this year is designed for valuable-based learning to take place even in a camp setting, without making students feel like they are in school. The lessons are framed in inquiry-based tasks and real-life situations that develop students’ critical thinking, creativity and collaborative skills. By embedding lessons into relevant situations, students are constantly—although perhaps unconsciously—tapping into and practicing a wide range of skills while being engaged in the problem solving process.
The Math curriculum is designed to allow students, and children to explore math concepts while being involved in fun, authentic (i.e. mimics real-life situations) problem solving tasks. Each task synthesizes multiple math skills, allowing students not only to creatively apply their knowledge but also encourage them to tap into higher and more sophisticated levels of thinking. Classic puzzles and riddles are incorporated in each lesson as an extra activity or “just-for-fun” activity, and a good challenge for high performing students.
The Math curriculum also aims to develop students’ interpersonal skills through collaborative learning. Thus, giving students an opportunity to enrich each other’s learning experience through rich and relevant conversations, improving their overall scholastic performance.
The Language Arts curriculum aims to develop students’ literacy, first by expanding the definition of literacy to non-conventional forms such as: blogs, graphic novels, advertisements and posters. The aim is to educate students in their ability to critically analyze and assess the content of various media.
In junior grades, basic comprehension and reading strategies are reinforced in order to form a foundation for more sophisticated thinking. Intermediate grades focus on developing students’ writing and oral communication skills in preparation for high school.
Where cross-curricular connections can be made, the Language Arts curriculum is tied to Math lessons (Math Literacy), and incorporates the Arts (e.g. drama), Scholastic Achievement, and Character Development.